Environmental Protection Agency

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GMO Spuds Could Fend Off Another Irish Potato Famine

USDA OKs JR Simplot varieties that include resistance to late blight

(Newser) - Two potato varieties genetically engineered to withstand the bacteria that caused the Irish potato famine could soon be heading to dinner tables. The Department of Agriculture has approved planting of JR Simplot's Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of Innate potatoes, reports the AP . The potatoes—which have only potato... More »

1st US Criminal Charge Filed in VW Emissions Scandal

Engineer James Liang pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud

(Newser) - The first US criminal charge over the Volkswagen emissions scandal has been filed. Bloomberg reports VW engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud on Friday. Liang, a German citizen, has worked for VW since 1983, first in Germany and then in the US, according to WDIV . He... More »

Millions of Americans Drink Bad Water: Report

Crisis in Flint, Michigan, could spread to other cities

(Newser) - Flint, Michigan, isn't the only city in a water crisis —but residents of other US cities just don't know they're in a water crisis, the Guardian reports. According to watchdogs and government documents, water boards in several cities have designed questionable tests that violate EPA regulations... More »

One of America's Most Toxic Places: a Town Called Picher

Only 3 residents remain

(Newser) - The former lead and zinc mining boomtown of Picher, Okla., has seen better days. It swelled to some 14,000 residents when bullet demand rose during both World War I and II, with Wired reporting previously that "most" of the lead found in bullets used by America during those... More »

VW's Dieselgate Now Spreads to Audi

Company's luxury brand says 2.1M of its cars also had emissions cheat

(Newser) - The dust was just starting to settle on Volkswagen's emissions-cheating software on its US diesel vehicles, but new revelations show the hubbub spreading to Audi. The company's luxury brand reported Monday that 2.1 million of its vehicles—including 13,000 in the US—had the same cheat... More »

EPA Changing Emissions Tests So It Can't Be Duped Again

Volkswagen scandal spurs change

(Newser) - The US Environmental Protection Agency said today that it will launch sweeping changes to the way it tests for diesel emissions after getting duped by clandestine software in Volkswagen cars for seven years. In a letter to car manufacturers, the EPA said it will add on-road testing to its regimen,... More »

EPA Hugely Underestimated How Much Trash We Dump

Scientists say this also means we're obviously not recycling as much as we thought

(Newser) - Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study. It turns out that, on average, America tosses 5 pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures in a study... More »

Volkswagen Is Cheating on Smog Tests: EPA

482K cars ordered recalled

(Newser) - If you drive a Volkswagen diesel model, your car might be getting recalled—though not for safety reasons. The Obama administration has ordered the carmaker to recall about 482,000 cars because, it claims, Volkswagen put illegal software in those cars designed to get around environmental standards, the New York ... More »

It Will Take Years to Deal With Leaking Colo. Mine

Wastewater spill has now reached Lake Powell

(Newser) - It will take many years and many millions of dollars simply to manage and not even remove the toxic wastewater from an abandoned mine that unleashed a 100-mile-long torrent of heavy metals into Western rivers that has likely reached Lake Powell, experts say. Plugging Colorado's Gold King Mine, which... More »

Toxic Water Still Leaking Into Colorado River

Other abandoned mines are now the issue, officials say

(Newser) - The wastewater spill into Colorado's Animas River isn't just more severe than the Environmental Protection Agency initially estimated: It's steadily getting worse in terms of volume, even a week after the initial incident . Between 500 and 700 gallons of metal-laced water is still spilling from the abandoned... More »

EPA: Wastewater Spill 3 Times Worse Than We Thought

Officials now say 3M gallons of Colo. mine wastewater spilled into Animas River

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency says a wastewater spill from an abandoned mine in southwestern Colorado into the Animas River is much larger than originally estimated. The agency said the amount of heavy-metal-laced water that leaked from the Gold King Mine into the river, turning the water a mucky orange and... More »

A Colorado River Now Looks Like This

EPA accidentally spilled 1 million gallons of mine waste into Animas

(Newser) - Colorado's Animas River isn't always bright orange, but that's how it looks today after the EPA accidentally spilled a million gallons of mine waste into a tributary. Officials in San Juan County say state officials and the EPA were actually trying to access contaminated water at Gold... More »

We Massively Underestimate Methane Pollution: Study

New study finds fault in device used to measure leaks

(Newser) - The amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere from natural gas sites and contributing to global warming might be highly underestimated, according to a researcher who happens to have invented the technology used to measure leaks. In a new paper published today , Touché Howard notes an issue with the EPA-approved... More »

SCOTUS Smacks Down Obama Emissions Plan

Says EPA jumped gun on regulations on mercury, other pollutants

(Newser) - In a 2014 ruling , an appeals court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency "properly [put] the horse before the cart" in coming up with mandates to limit power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants. The Supreme Court today overturned that ruling, blocking a key White House environmental initiative because... More »

New BPA Culprit: Cash Register Receipts

Using hand sanitizer before going shopping might make things worse: scientists

(Newser) - Thought you'd cut your risk of BPA exposure by ditching plastic water bottles? You might have to add "stop asking for receipts at the store" to the list. Scientists tested the skin, blood, and urine of people before and after they handled receipts and other thermal papers that... More »

Gulf's Dead Zone Is the Size of Connecticut

Activists sue EPA to get stricter regulations

(Newser) - A Connecticut-sized swath of oxygen-deprived waters off the Gulf Coast is a "poster child for how we are using and abusing our natural resources," says one researcher in Louisiana. In its 30th annual survey, the Louisiana Marine Consortium shows the dead zone has shrunk to about 5,000... More »

White House: Cut Carbon Now, or Pay $150B a Year Later

Climate change costs could jump 40% each decade

(Newser) - When it comes to climate change, the United States can pay to cut carbon emissions now, or we can pay about $150 billion a year down the road as costs soar by about 40% a decade, according to a White House Council of Economic Advisers analysis out today, as per... More »

EPA to Workers: Stop Pooping in the Hall

Agency hires consultant after phantom pooper strikes

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency has a pretty basic tip for EPA employees who want to protect the environment they work in: Stop pooping in the hallway. The agency's Denver branch found it necessary to tell workers to cease "inappropriate bathroom behavior," citing incidents including toilets clogged with... More »

In Ruling, EPA Gets 'Almost Everything It Wants'

Expert: 'Supreme Court put EPA on a leash but not in a noose'

(Newser) - The Supreme Court largely left intact today the Obama administration's only existing program to limit power plant and factory emissions of the gases blamed for global warming. But a divided court also rebuked environmental regulators for taking too much authority into their own hands without congressional approval. The justices... More »

Americans Waste $4B to Run Dryers, Every Year

DOE working on new energy efficiency standards

(Newser) - Get our your clotheslines. Turns out your trusty dryer is one of the most energy-sucking appliances in your house—with a typical electric model using as much energy as an energy-efficient fridge, washing machine, and dishwasher combined, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Americans could save... More »

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